Home Children, Young People & Families Demand for adoption support growing as children show greater signs of elevated anxiety

Demand for adoption support growing as children show greater signs of elevated anxiety

by Kirsty Kirsty

Chroma, the UKs leading provider of creative arts therapies, has reported an increase in demand for therapeutic support and are gearing up to a busy start to the new school year.

The arts therapy provider has gathered further evidence that children returned to the classroom with elevated anxiety levels and have found it difficult to manage being in the classroom environment – in particularly, at transition points such as entry into early years, or into secondary school.

Adopted children may develop attachment disorders following developmental (early life) traumas, like abuse or neglect, early life exposure to alcohol/drugs, domestic violence, living in chaotic environments. These harmful environments impact how a child’s brain develops, most significantly, emotionally, and the effects are visible even years later, as the child develops.

Almost all school referrals to Chroma in the past year for creative arts therapies interventions concern the child’s struggle with the emotional aspects of school-life. This is common with children who have experienced early childhood trauma as they often struggle with managing at school, are unable to sit still or to pay attention or outbursts that can be triggered by the seemingly smallest of things.

Schools have also noted that children in reception, year 1 and year 2 are struggling to adjust as prolonged periods of isolation has negatively affected their ability to learn. And working alongside an educational psychologist, Chroma has also noticed this trend. Children’s social skills, their ability to listen and be in the classroom environment have all been impacted by the covid lockdowns. 

In response to the growing demand for adoption support, Chroma is assisting children and young people in schools through creative arts therapies, to help them learn to cope with new or stressful situations.

Kate Cropper, Music Therapist at Chroma added: “What we see is that children can find it difficult to cope in their relationships with peers and teachers.  Aspects of being in relationships with another can become overwhelming.  This might include understanding another child’s point of view, sharing resources or attention, or being able to play with another child. 

“Children who have experienced neglect at an early stage of their development often struggle to understand their own responses and so may lash out or be physical within the overwhelming classroom environment when what they are actually feeling is anxiety or fear. Our work centres upon supporting children and families to manage relationships.

“We are planning more group-based work and shorter-term targeted interventions particularly around transitions – coming into school, or moving from primary to secondary, or secondary to college – to help meet the growing demand for our support services without losing the quality of the service.

“And our adoption support packages always include time for specific work with the family. We use that time to help build resilience and hope within families so that once our support ends, families can continue to flourish.”

Chroma is also offering training sessions to support educators working with children with attachment issues and symptoms of trauma. The sessions cover:

  • An introduction to ‘Adverse Childhood Events’ and how educational staff can look for signs of trauma in children.
  • A focus on attachment strategies, how they might be displayed in school and providing coping strategies for children and staff.
  • A session to understand how questions around gender and identity can affect adolescents, with practical advice on how to help.
  • A reflective supervisory session where educational staff can offload and receive help.
  • An introduction on neurodevelopment in children and how it can be affected by trauma. Both theoretical and practical.
  • A practical session with lots of creative techniques and activities for the classroom.

Related Articles